Pathways to Gender Justice - A Tool Kit for People Working in the Immigrant and Refugee Serving Sector in Canada

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By: Julie Mooney, Afsaneh Hojabri
Org: Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)
Date: 2006

This tool kit seeks to educate and inform the immigrant and refugee serving sector about gender issues, and encourages agencies and workers to incorporate gender analysis into their work.

Who is this Kit for?

What is New or Significant in this Tool Kit?

CCR has taken a complex political and practical issue and and created a simple, useful and easy to digest tool kit.

It is a very useful tool for all settlement workers to read and reflect on how gender, perceptions of gender, and realities of unequal power relationships can impact on our work.

Use it individually, or as a tool for discussion, professional development and personal reflection.

This tool kit is designed for use by individuals for personal and professional development and by groups, for training sessions, educational workshops, program evaluation, policy review, policy development, staff meetings, annual general meetings, etc. It is intended for people working in or accessing services in the immigrant and refugee serving sector in Canada (and abroad, where applicable), including front-line workers, service users, students, volunteers, managers, executive directors, board members, umbrella associations, and municipal, provincial and federal government departments and employees.

What is Gender Analysis and Why is it Important?

The authors seek to "show how looking at the process of settlement with a 'gender lens' may help us to improve the programs and services we deliver, the policies we develop and implement, and the training we provide to service providers." They suggest that, "while there is no formula for applying a gender-sensitive approach to settlement work, we can learn to ask questions and initiate discussion that will affect positive change towards gender justice.'

The definition of Gender Analysis comes from the understanding and recognition that, in Canada and elsewhere, we exist in a patriarchal system, made up of unequal power relationships. In essence, a system where women and girls have less power, access and opportunity. The authors assert that "relationships do not need to remain unequal, however. We inherit ways of relating to each other from our parents and our ancestors. But we are also creating relationships every day and influencing how future generations relate to each other. Gender-based analysis is therefore not only about understanding the inequalities that exist but also about working towards making relationships more equal."

Key sections:

  1. How to use this kit
  2. For starters... How is gender analysis relevant To my work in the immigrant And refugee serving sector?
  3. Vision and gender analysis - Provides guiding principles for gender equity work in the immigrant and refugee serving sector.
  4. Background information on gender-based analysis - Explores gender analysis in more detail and recommends additional reading for those interested.
  5. Immigrant and refugee scenarios for individual or group reflection - Offers resources that can be used for individual reflection or exploration of questions and issues in a group.
  6. Considering intersections, applying a gender analysis - Examines how different aspects of our identity intersect with gender and provides questions and categories to guide us as we apply a gender analysis.
  7. Ways forward: key recommendations - Looks at key recommendations for our sector and what we need to do next to realize these goals.
  8. Appendices - Provides a glossary of terms that might not be familiar and a list of frequently asked questions that aim to clarify key words and ideas presented in this tool kit. While some users of this kit will be experienced popular educators, for those who are new to this approach, Appendix C introduces popular education.

Recommendations and Next Steps

The kit provides a number of key recommendations for a wide group of stakeholders. Here are key recommendations for immigrant and refugee serving agencies

  • Provide further training for staff, management, board, and/or stakeholders.
  • Adopt a ?Standard of Service? for all clients.
  • Explore the service needs of transsexual and transgender people.
  • Incorporate into staff and management performance reviews an evaluation of practice of gender-based approaches.
  • Ensure that agency?s code of conduct and practices, and collective agreements have inclusive policies on discrimination and harassment with effective mechanisms for the practice and evaluation of these policies, and that policies are applicable to staff, clients, volunteers and the Board of Directors.
  • Evaluate gender representation at all decision-making levels within the organization.
  • Involve front-line workers fully and meaningfully in policy formation.
  • Build accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • Review and update intake processes to reflect gender equity and other equity issues.
  • Consider having staff develop ?areas of specialty? to increase the agency?s breadth and depth of expertise in responding to diverse needs of clients.
  • Expand links with other organizations in order to share resources and increase capacity to respond to diverse needs of clients.

Complete Tool Kit

Language: English

Format: This report is available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format [1.9 MB, 32 pages].

You need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file.